Our commitment to postgraduate researchers

The status of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) as a centre of scientific excellence is complemented by a prominent role in training the next generation of environmental researchers. Our postgraduate researchers (PGRs) benefit from state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, field sites and data centres, which they can draw on to support their research. More than 100 UKCEH supervisors work together in multi-skilled teams to offer a unique breadth of experience and knowledge to advise and assist PGRs throughout their training.

Postgraduate community

More than 190 PGRs are undertaking their PhD research in association with UKCEH. Many PGRs are registered with the Universities of Edinburgh, Lancaster, Bangor and Reading.

UKCEH is an active partner in a number of different studentship funding agreements, including five UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training and nine Doctoral Training Partnerships, the Graduate School for the Environment, Marie-Curie ITN, Leverhulme Trust and as a collaborator with a number of CASE award partners. PGRs at UKCEH access a wide range of training and ideas from these connections.

What you can expect as a PGR at UKCEH

  • As a PGR at UKCEH you can access diverse laboratory facilities, field sites and data centres to support your research. UKCEH supervisors and staff offer a unique breadth of experience and knowledge to advise and assist you throughout your training in a multi-disciplinary environment.

  • UKCEH offers a unique training environment for postgraduate researchers including opportunities to be based or spend time at one of four research centres, have access to world-class scientists, participate in an active postgraduate community, and be involved in a range of postgraduate activities and opportunities.

  • PGRs at UKCEH are also eligible to attend a variety of specialised training courses developed for UKCEH staff and ecological and hydrological professionals, as well as take part in other learning and development opportunities available.
  • In addition to your UKCEH supervisor, you will be supported by the Early Careers Advisor, local welfare officers, postgraduate liaison officers and your local postgraduate representatives. Together, they offer opportunities for you to reflect on your PhD, to receive support and gain mentoring for your career development.

Undergraduate internships, placements and work experience

UKCEH regularly receives requests to support or host student internships, placements, sandwich year or work experience opportunities, mostly at undergraduate level. Unfortunately at this time, we have limited capacity to support individual, speculative student requests in such learning opportunities for funding, programmatic and logistical reasons. If this changes in the future, then this page is where such opportunities will be advertised.

In the meantime, UKCEH does participate in these specific funded and established programmes which may be of interest:

We recommend applying to advertised opportunities where suitable if you are interested in gaining environmental science experience at UKCEH. You may also find it useful to review our UKCEH job platform to see if field roles, laboratory, temporary or other roles of interest are available.

Current PhD opportunities

Please browse the list below for details of opportunities including doctoral training partnerships that UKCEH are involved with and annually offer PhDs involving UKCEH supervisors. Full contact details are provided on project adverts or on UKCEH staff webpages. Please check individual adverts for details of how to apply.


  • None currently advertised

Graduate School for the Environment

The Graduate School for the Environment is a collaboration between UKCEH, the Lancaster Environment Centre and Rothamsted Research. PhD projects are available in Biological Science, Environmental Science & Geography. Opportunities are available to develop your own self-funded proposal, to apply for a funded position or to apply through a Doctoral Training Partnership.

NERC Doctoral training partnerships (DTPs)

We generally offer PhD opportunities with these DTPs each year. 


Further information

ACCE (Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment)

ACCE's vision is to develop motivated, confident & multi-skilled PhD students, undertaking cutting-edge research & tackling environmental science questions of global significance. Studentships are offered between the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, York & UKCEH in a multi-disciplinary environment including biologists, mathematicians, analytical chemists & policy experts. See all ACCE projects here.

Opportunities with UKCEH for 2024: now closed

CENTA (Central England NERC Training Alliance)

CENTA research spans six universities (Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Warwick & The Open University) and research institutes (UKCEH & BGS). A critical mass of researchers in climate & environmental sustainability, organisms & ecosystems & the dynamic earth provide a range of training & facilities. Training is supported by end-users from industry to non-governmental organisations & government agencies. See all CENTA projects here.

Opportunities with UKCEH for 2024: now closed

E4 (Edinburgh Earth, Ecology & Environment)

Edinburgh has one of the highest concentrations of NERC-remit research in the UK. The clustering of environmental research around Edinburgh means that E4 students are part of a vibrant community of researchers & professionals that extends to many opportunities in science, policy, charity & business activities. See all E4 projects here.

Opportunities with UKCEH for 2024: now closed

Envision (Developing next generation leaders in environmental science)

Envision brings together a powerful group of UK researchers with industry & NGO partners to provide a new generation of environmental scientists with the skills, knowledge & experience they need to take on the challenges of a changing world.  Led by Lancaster University, research falls into the 3 areas of environmental change, sustainable use of natural resources & environmental hazards & risk. See all Envision projects here.

Opportunities with UKCEH for 2024: now closed

GW4+ (Great Western Four)

GW4+ identifies areas of complementary expertise across the universities of Bristol, Bath, Cardiff & Exeter to develop research communities at scale, to address major global & industrial challenges. The collaborative research & innovation of GW4+ recognises & builds on the industrial & research strengths of the South West, working across the natural sciences & encouraging collaborative projects between the universities, research institutes & industrial & public sector partners. 



Named after the ancient ocean that closed to bring together England and Scotland, IAPETUS is a partnership that joins the leading research universities of Durham, Glasgow, Heriot Watt, Newcastle, St Andrews & Stirling, together with UKCEH, BAS & BGS, in a united approach to doctoral research & training the next generation of leaders in the science of the natural environment. See all IAPETUS projects here.

Opportunities with UKCEH for 2024: now closed


Oxford DTP in Environmental Research

The Oxford DTP in Environmental Research offers a world class, multidisciplinary training environment for the next generation of researchers working at the frontiers of Environmental Research. The Oxford DTP operates slightly differently, with two studentship routes. Some students are recruited direct to CASE or collaborative projects, while others are not admitted directly to project and apply to one of the three research streams (for students who wish to devise their own projects). See details of how to apply here.

SCENARIO (Science of the Environment: Natural and Anthropogenic processes, Impacts and Opportunities)

The scientific scope of SCENARIO is broad, spanning the physical, chemical and biological processes within the overarching theme of "environmental risk and sustainability" over a wide range of temporal & spatial scales. SCENARIO incorporates supervisory expertise spanning the science of atmosphere, oceans, ice, hydrology, soil, ecosystems & space weather. SCENARIO seeks to attract high-quality graduates from science, mathematics & engineering degrees. See details of all SCENARIO projects here.

Opportunities with UKCEH for 2024: now closed

SSCP (Science & Solutions for a Changing Planet)

The SSCP DTP harnesses world leading expertise from Imperial College London & Core Partner Institutions to offer a unique multidisciplinary PhD training programme. SSCP’s key scientific challenge is to understand & quantify complex biological, physical & human systems, & the interactions between them, in sufficient detail to predict & manage future change. This knowledge is used to develop innovative technical, business & policy responses to environmental & societal challenges. See details of all SSCP projects here

Opportunities with UKCEH for 2024: now closed

Centres for doctoral training

Further information

ECORISC (Ecotoxicological Risk Assessment Towards Sustainable Chemical Use)

The ECORISC Centre for Doctoral Training is a partnership between five universities and UKCEH, funded for six years with projects designed to better understand the risks of chemicals in the natural environment and how to best assess and manage these risks. It will produce a generation of innovator scientists that can identify, understand and effectively manage the risks of chemicals through the use of state-of-the-art science and out-of-the-box thinking. See details of all ECORISC projects here.

ECOWILD (Centre for Ecologically Relevant Multiple Stressor effects on Wetland Wildscapes)

The ECOWILD Centre for Doctoral Training programme has been designed to deliver the next generation of innovative researchers and conservationists needed to protect some of the Earth’s most vulnerable and valuable ecosystems. ECOWILD is a unique partnership that brings together research expertise and innovation across various fields including environmental toxicology, ecology, multiple stressor theory and modelling, wetland conservation and restoration, socioeconomics, community engagement, management and governance; and involves some of the leading UK experts in these fields. See all ECOWILD projects.

Opportunities with UKCEH lead supervisors (2024):